Pursuing Compensation After a Florida Cruise Ship Slip and Fall Accident

Every year, many families travel to tropical destinations aboard cruise ships for the vacation of a lifetime. With so much to do and so many opportunities to relax, a cruise sounds like the perfect option for any adventurous traveler. However, accidents can occur while on these trips. When they do,  those who are responsible can be held accountable through a Florida cruise ship injury lawsuit.

In a recent federal appellate opinion, a plaintiff suffered a severe injury while on a cruise ship vacation with her family. According to the court’s opinion, on the fourth day of the trip, the plaintiff went to pick up food from the ship’s breakfast buffet. As she was returning from the buffet line, she was forced to take a detour because diners at a nearby table had rearranged their chairs. While moving around a busboy station, the plaintiff tripped over a cleaning bucket that she had not seen, suffering injuries to her shoulder and fracturing her arm. For the remainder of the cruise trip, the plaintiff was bedridden. Following the trip, she sought medical attention from various doctors and physical therapists due to her injuries. The plaintiff subsequently brought a lawsuit against the operator of the cruise ship.

At trial, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff with $650,000 in past general damages, $500,000 in future general damages, and $61,000 in past medical expenses, all to be discounted by 10% due to the plaintiff’s comparative negligence. The total award amounted to roughly $1.1 million in favor of the plaintiff. Following the verdict and damages calculations, the defendant persuaded the lower court to reduce the jury’s award to approximately $16,000, on the theory that a plaintiff’s recovery was limited to the amount that was actually paid for her medical treatment.

On appeal, the court disagreed with the defendant, holding that the appropriate measure of past medical expense damages was to be determined by the jury after it had considered all relevant evidence, including the amount billed, the amount paid, expert testimony, and other relevant evidence. Because the jury calculated damages in a manner consistent with this rule, there was no error in their initial calculation. However, the appellate court went on to note that the district court erred when it reduced damages post-trial. Thus, the appellate court reversed the lower court’s reduction of the jury’s damages award and reinstated the original amount of medical expenses decided by the jury with 10% discounted for the plaintiff’s comparative negligence.

When navigating complex premises liability claims, it can be challenging, especially when damages must be calculated. In Florida, such complex matters are common, especially in claims similar to this one. This is why potential plaintiffs are advised to contact a seasoned and experienced personal injury attorney who can help them successfully navigate the recovery process.

Have You Been Injured While on a Cruise?

If you or someone you know has been severely injured in a Florida slip and fall accident while on a cruise ship, or any type of cruise ship injury, contact the attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada. Our lawyers have decades of experience helping personal injury clients recover compensation in all kinds of cases, and we will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today at 877-448-8585 to set up your free consultation.

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